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Eur J Pharm Sci. 2018 Jun 15;118:96-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2018.03.022. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

Dose- and time-dependent pharmacokinetics of apigenin trimethyl ether.

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Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Electronic address:


Apigenin trimethyl ether (5,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone, ATE), one of the key polymethoxyflavones present in black ginger (rhizome of Kaempferia parviflora) possesses various health-promoting activities. To optimize its medicinal application, the pharmacokinetics of ATE was assessed in Sprague-Dawley rats with emphases to identify the impacts from dose and repeated dosing on its major pharmacokinetic parameters. Plasma ATE levels were monitored by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Upon single intravenous administration (2 mg/kg), plasma levels of ATE declined through an apparent first-order process while dose-escalation to 4 and 8 mg/kg led to its non-linear disposition, which could be described by the Michaelis-Menten model. Similarly, dose-dependent oral pharmacokinetics was confirmed and when the dose was escalated from 5 to 15 and 45 mg/kg, much longer mean residence time (MRT0→last), higher dose-normalized maximal plasma concentration (Cmax/Dose) and exposure (AUC/Dose) were observed at 15 and/or 45 mg/kg. One-week daily oral administration of ATE at 15 mg/kg caused its accelerated elimination and the plasma exposure (AUC) after intravenous (2 mg/kg) and oral administration (15 mg/kg) dropped ~40 and 60%, respectively. As ATE displayed both dose- and time-dependent pharmacokinetics, caution is needed in the medicinal applications of ATE and/or black ginger.


5,7,4′-Trimethoxyflavone; Apigenin trimethyl ether; Dose-dependent pharmacokinetics; Time-dependent pharmacokinetics

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